Updated: Sep 19
Devotional based upon the themes and characters of the novel Finding True North.
QUESTION OF TRUTH: WHAT’S OUR TRUE HOME?
Home, the place we are supposed to find comfort, rest, and peace. Unfortunately, for North, the main character of Finding True North, home is not this serene place. Instead, it’s a place that only appears that way on the exterior, but inside it’s a place of turmoil and unrest. While North longs for a peaceful home, she primarily yearns for peace within herself, and so begins the journey of North, as she seeks to become at one with her home, herself, her family, and the world around her.
Can you relate to North’s quest? Do you also seek peace and wholeness in a world that sometimes feels chaotic or broken? If so, where and how do you find it?
I know that I feel most at peace when I’m surrounded by those I love. When we’re all together, doing anything at all, pretty much anywhere, I’m in my happy place. Most recently that came from a trip to visit my adult children, in which we also had the pure joy of welcoming my second son’s first child and our first grandchild into the world. I have to say that holding my first grandchild and watching my own child be a parent are two of my most incredible life experiences, truly a moment of heaven on earth.
But of course, when we had to leave and make our way back home, that feeling of pure joy diminished. While I still felt so very grateful for our time there, I absolutely did not feel happy and at peace with the goodbyes. My heart is always in several places with children in different places, and while there’s good in that, knowing they’re making their way and doing well, it can also be very difficult. The reminder that God is with me is A TRUTH that can alleviate some of the sadness I might feel, even though it’s hard.
In John 16:33, Jesus says this:
“I have told you these things so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Notice that Jesus tells us we can have peace in him. So, when I read that, I have to ask myself if I’m actually doing that, and as much as I’d like to answer, “Yes, of course I am, all the time,” I know that’s not always the case. Truthfully, it takes some conscious effort to make sure I’m finding my peace in him when things don’t feel peaceful. I have to be aware of the thoughts in my mind that aren’t of God and replace them with HIS TRUTHS. I find that when I spend consistent time with God, reading his word, thinking about it, and praying, I am better able to remember what he says. When this time is disrupted, I feel off. The truths of God keep me grounded when other things seem unsettled.
One truth that always grounds me is that God is always with me. In all the joys, all the sorrows, the hellos and goodbyes, the births and the losses, God’s presence is the constant and forever blessing.
His word says:
· “I will not fail you or abandon you.” Joshua 1:5
· “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”
· “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all Your works.” Psalm 73:28
· “And He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
· “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
· “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted: he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
What about your home? Is it a place of peace and tranquility, a place where you feel relieved when you arrive there? Or is it a place of unrest, stress, confusion?
Where do you find peace?
Where do you need more of God’s peace?
Wherever you are today, whether it’s your perfect place of peace or not, I hope you can remember that God is with you. One of my favorite translations of Matthew 5:3 is from The Message Bible:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God.”
This verse puts my focus back on the one who can help me and is with me in every moment. While shifting my focus hasn’t completely erased my sadness over a difficult goodbye, nor has it made me stop missing all those I love who are far away, I have seen God’s presence and his love. I've seen it in the people and places back at home: in my other son and his girlfriend when we returned and got to spend time with them, in the love and understanding of my husband, in a very dear friend who sent messages of encouragement and prayer, in the high schoolers I lead in youth group, who gave hugs and brought laughter and positive energy to our time together, in my church on Sunday morning, and most recently in the beauty that surrounds me in nature with snow-capped mountains, rain, and the crystal clear skies that followed this past week. God’s presence is everywhere.
This truth allows more joy to seep into the difficult moments. It reminds me that HE IS MY TRUE HOME.
Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!
Before the mountains were born,
Before you gave birth to the
Earth and the world
From beginning to end, you are God.
PRAYER OF TRUTH
If North were a real person (which to me she kind of is because I spent so much time writing and thinking about her!), I would pray that before she opens that front door of her home to the chaos inside, that she remember her true home. It’s not really a building or a place, it’s a presence – a presence of the one who goes with her wherever she goes. I pray that for you wherever you are too. I pray you feel God with you in the safe spaces and the stormy spots of your day, and that somehow that truth can bring you a little joy or hope even when things are rough.
PUTTING THE TRUTH INTO ACTION
Take a moment today to think about where you feel at peace and try to spend some time in that spot. If you can’t be there, try journaling about it, drawing a picture of it, thanking God for it. You can also write or say a prayer for God to bring you peace when and where you need it most. Ask him to help you remember he’s with you and wants to comfort and help you in the stormy spaces of your life.
To receive devotionals as they're published, subscribe to my email list by clicking the Subscribe button.